20th Century-Pox

Produced by William A. Bacher and William B. Hawks.
Directed by Raonl Walsh.
Screenplay by Sydney Boehm and Frank Nugent, based on the novel by Clay Fisher. 
Cinematographer: Leo Tover. 
Art direction by Lyle Wheeler and Mark-Lee Kirk. 
Musical Director: Victor Young. 
Editor: Louis Loefiler.
Release date: October 5, 1955.
Running time: 122 minuets.

CAST: Clark Gable, Jane Russell, Robert Ryan, Cameron Mitchell, Juan Garcia, Harry Shannon, Emile Meyer, Steve Darrell, Will Wright, Robert Adler, J. Lewis Smith, Russell Simpson, Mae Marsh, Gertrude Graner, Tom Wilson, Tom Fadden, Dan White, Argentina Brunetti, Doris Kemper,
Carl Harbaugh, Post Park.

Synopsis:  Ben (Clark Cable) and Clint Allison (Cameron Mitchell), Texans who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, ride north to the gold fields of Montana determined to recoup their lost fortunes. They hold up Nathan Stark (Robert Ry4n), a businessman, for the $20,000 he is carrying. Stark, however, puts a proposition to them: he intends to drive a vast herd of cattle north from Texas to Montana, and offers Ben the Job of trail boss and a share in his profits. They accept.

On their way to Texas, Ben rescues Nella Turner (Jane Russell), one of a small party of settlers who have been attacked by Indians. They have to take refuge during a blizzard in a deserted shack, and they fall in love, but soon quarrel when Ben reveals that his only ambition is to settle down on a small ranch in Texas. Nella is after higher things.

In Fort Worth, while they prepare for the journey north, Nella transfers her affections to the ruthlessly ambitious Stark, who insists that she accompany them to Montana. Antagonism between Stark and the Allison brothers increases during the cattle drive, and when they learn that the last stage of the journey is through hostile Indian country, Stark is prepared to cut his losses and to abandon the expedition.

Ben, however, insists that they go on. Clint is killed; but Ben succeeds in out-maneuvering the Indians by stampeding the herd at full speed through the narrow canyon where they have planned an ambush. Arriving in Montana, Stark endeavors to double cross Ben but is outwitted; and on returning to his camp, Ben finds Nella there waiting for him.


Brog., Variety: The earthiness of Miss Russell's character and the masculine virility of Gable's makes for plenty of sizzle in their love scenes together, Gable can count this among one of his best in a long time, story providing him with a role that requires thespic skill as well as his particular personality to put him over. Miss Russell is a good teammate, scoring strongly. So does Ryan with his interpretation of an ambitious man, who, in a sense, carries the part of heavy in the story. Mitchell is fine as Gable's erratic young brother. It's a choice character of which he makes the most. Important to the cast and the entertainment punch is the work done by Juan Garcia, Gable's loyal Mexican friend. Other parts are small, but very well done. jayhawker or dust devil, nothing bothers Clark-except, of course, the fact that he has to act. But like most of his parts, this one requires nothing much but his anxious little smirk. On the other hand, he seems comfortably conscious (as moviegoers will be awkwardly aware) that the winds which howl about his hairdo do not shake the trees in the processed background; and he strives in Montana looking as fresh as a 54-year-old daisy can.

The New York Times: Messrs. Gable and Ryan go at it as though they were acting a deathless tragedy.

Newsweek: Slowly and unobtrusively, mastery over the CinemaScope screen shape has progressed to the point where it has no equal for the treatment of certain types of story. And this is one of them. The leisurely tempo still persists, yet even that, if one has time to relax to it, may have its charm. Here the teasing question of who shall win Jane Russell (who with each film seems to grow in power and surly confidence) is a very long, drawn-out affair indeed-from Montana to Texas and back again. But in any case the actors must here take second place to the breath-taking presentation of natural settings, against which the animals appear to an unprecedented advantage. The first sequence of the herd setting out for distant Montana is superbly handled and is probably one of the most effective of its kind ever seen. Top credit is due Leo Tover for his use the camera, and to Ray Kellog for photographic effects. - . - A big action feast and value for anyone's money.

My Review: First I have to comment on the cinematography. The natural setting of Montana and the stampeding herd in the narrow canyon is most beautiful to watch. As for the roles, the earthiness of Russell's character and the masculine virility of Gable's makes for plenty of sizzle in their love scenes together. I think this Gable/Russell team works quite similar to Gable/Harlow team. Both Russel and Harlow possess this down to earth, I don't give a damn attitude. Some great sensual effects to hear Russell sings "I don't want a short man, I want a tall man". At age 54, Gable is as magnificiant as ever.

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